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Thread: Watching Brad

      
   
  1. #101
    biKCboy
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Damn!

  2. #102
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Thanks...Great story...

  3. #103
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Thanks for the edit, Autolycus. I proofed the damned thing, too. Unfortunately, my spell checker can't tell that 'been' is the wrong word. As long as it's spelt correctly, it says 'okey-dokey' and lets it pass.

    I might post another chapter later today. (If I do, I'll give you a hint. Keep the Kleenex handy. I didn't, and my keyboard's all soggy.) I'm already half-way through writing Chapter 14, so I'm staying ahead of you guys.

    By the way, for my own edification, my browser shows only 5 pages with each topic link, then it just adds 'Last Page' after it. When this thread is 5 pages full, would it be better to continue the story in a new thread?

  4. #104
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Thanks, this just gets better & better

  5. #105
    gayemtinpa
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    Re: Watching Brad

    I know I posted yesterday about how good this story is, but I feel compelled to say it again!!!! As I read this story, I can almost visualize the characters as they go thru the life that you have created for them. I am so totally addicted to this story and love every word of it!!!!

    You are a magnificant writer!!!!!!!

    Ray

  6. #106
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Neil,

    I am dumbstruck! I can't think of any words worthy enough to express my admiration for you and your writing. This has been one of the most enjoyable short stories I have ever read. It is life personified. Thank you!

    Craiger

  7. #107

    Re: Watching Brad

    It would be more convenient to continue it on this thread.

    So when is the next chapter going to be posted? Tomorrow? Let me know so I can plan my day around it (:

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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by aneal_lingus
    So when is the next chapter going to be posted? Tomorrow? Let me know so I can plan my day around it (:
    Once more, thanks, guys.

    I'll be posting the next part (Part XII) in about 4 hours. I'll post Part XIII in the morning.

  9. #109

    Re: Watching Brad

    how many are there?

  10. #110
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by aneal_lingus
    how many are there?
    I don't know. I haven't written them yet. I'm posting them as I write them.

  11. #111
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Oh my... Thanks for this great story, I half expected a mindless sex story, but this is awesome!! The last chapter made my eyes drip. After what you just said about having the kleenex handy, I'm a little nervous!! Great story, no, let me rephrase that, AWESOME story. Thank you for writing it! Keep it going!!!

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    Re: Watching Brad

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part XII

    I felt like an idiot. I really did. I can handle computers okay, and I can do lots with them, but I couldn't figure out how to play that damned Nintendo. Brad was killing himself laughing as he watched me play. I love his laugh. It's a good laugh, and it made me feel good inside, too. But, the harder I tried, the worse I did. And the harder Brad laughed.

    Finally, he couldn't take it anymore. "Stop! Stop!" he yelled, and, when I wouldn't stop, he went to the machine and turned it off. He looked at me, holding his stomach and doubling over with laughter. Tears rolled down his face.

    I waited for him to stop laughing at me, but every time he did, he'd look at me and start laughing all over again. I finally grabbed my beer, slipped outside, and took my place on the wall as I lit up a cigarette. I could still hear him inside. I was halfway through the cigarette before the door slid open and he came out to join me. Even then, he would look at me and snicker.

    "You're a mean, nasty little bastard, you know that?" I said.

    "I'm sorry. I've never met someone with ten thumbs before," he said, and then he started chuckling again. He pressed his lips tight and furrowed his brow in concentration as he sucked air through his nose, trying to gain control of himself. Still, a few snorts escaped.

    I had finished my cigarette and lit another before Brad could look at me without a silly grin cracking his face.

    "I've got a Super Nintendo at home," Brad said.

    "What's that?"

    "Easier," he said.

    "Aw, come on, Brad. I'm not that bad."

    "Oh, yes you are, Ted," he said and snorted through his nose again. He recovered himself quickly, though. "I don't think my stomach can survive another assault like that. I'll bring the system over when we're finished here and set it up."

    "I'm old. Sue me."

    "You must be old," Brad said matter-of-factly. "Know what you forgot to do today?"

    "I didn't forget," I said sarcastically. "I was just too anxious to get home to play Nintendo with you."

    He checked his watch. "We can still make the paint store."

    I went silent for a bit, looking down at my beer bottle, using a fingernail to peel away a corner of the label. "Actually, Brad, That's what I need to talk with you about. I don't think I can afford to do all that housework right now. If I need to hire an investigator. . ."

    I felt a hand on mine and Brad wrapped his fingers around it and held it. I looked into his sparkling green eyes. "Don't cut Lindsay short on my account, Ted," he said. "The only reason I want to do all this for you is so I can spend more time with you. I don't need the money."

    "You don't need to be working for me to spend time here," I said. "I like having you here. I like coming home from work and finding you waiting here for me."

    My cell phone started to ring. "Excuse me," I said, pulling my hand free and retrieving my phone from my pocket. I popped it open. "Hello," I said into it.

    * Mr. de Villiers? *

    "Yes."

    * I'm Jacob McConnell. I'm a friend of Bill's? *

    "Yes."

    * I'm a retired private investigator. Bill called me tonight and said you needed some help. *

    "Yes, I do, actually," I said. I tilted the phone and glanced at Brad. He moved in closer so he could hear. "I'm trying to get some information on my ex-wife so I can get custody of my daughter."

    "Yes," Jacob said. "Well, as I said, I'm retired, but Bill has asked me to do this as a personal favour to him. I'd like to meet with you to discuss it. If you think my services might be useful to you, I'd like to offer them freely. All I ask is that you pay my expenses."

    "I'm willing to pay the going rate," I offered.

    "I'm retired, remember?" His voice sounded old, but capable and cheerful. "I don't need the money. Investigation is more of a hobby these days, and my license is still valid."

    "But you're retired, Mr. McConnell," I said. "You should be enjoying your time with your family now."

    "I'm also a widower, Mr. de Villiers. I have no family to spend time with."

    Brad looked at me, wondering what I would say. "Okay, Mr. McConnell. When could we meet?"

    "Any time."

    I thought quickly. "Okay, do you know Wally's on Simcoe Street?"

    "Yes. I've eaten there."

    "How about tomorrow at six?"

    "Fine."

    "I'll make a reservation for us," I told him. "Tomorrow night then?"

    "I'll be there."

    "Thank you, Sir."

    He hung up. I closed my phone and Brad sat back. "Good ol' Bill," I said. "He's fast."

    "He sounds old, Ted."

    "It's not age," I reminded him. "It's ability. And his price is right."I tucked the phone back into my pocket. "Besides, Bill wouldn't send me someone he didn't trust to do the job."

    I lit another cigarette. When I looked up again, Brad was rubbing his stomach. "What's wrong?"

    "Your Nintendo playing," he replied with a grin. "That's what's wrong. My stomach still hurts from all the laughing." He finished his beer. "It's still early. Want me to set up the other system? I have a car racing game. You only need to push two buttons. One for the gas and one for the brakes."

    I smiled at him. "Two buttons I can handle."

    "Be right back," he said, then stood and hopped over the wall.

    * * * * *

    I sat back on the sofa watching Brad work. He'd already disconnected the other system and was hooking up the older one he'd brought over.

    "I hope it still works," he said. "I haven't played it in a long time." He busied himself, plugging in cords and paddles and such.

    "I still want my bedroom done," I said. "Feel up to doing at least that much?"

    He looked over his shoulder at me as he plugged things into the back of the TV. "Sure."

    "I'll get the paint tomorrow after I meet with Jacob." I looked at Brad then, really for the first time. I'd never paid much attention to his back side. I never looked at guys' back sides. Brad was dressed in his cut-offs, of course, and no shirt. I'd seen him like that dozens of times, but this time was different. He was standing on one leg, his other extended for balance, and he was leaning over the back of the TV. I could see the muscles in his back working and it was intriguing. I could see his leg muscles working, too. I was used to looking at a woman's legs. This was the first time I'd ever really looked at a man's legs before. I could see the power in them. The strength. It was so different, but so interesting and somehow exciting as well. Brad had good legs.

    He had a pretty nice butt, too. I'd seen it often enough, of course, but this was the first time I'd really paid any attention to it. It certainly wasn't flat, but it wasn't big, either, and I could see the muscles working there as well. I hadn't ever thought of ass muscles working before. There wasn't much of an indent between the cheeks, but I could see where the cheeks of his ass divided themselves. I could also see the indented lines made by the legs of his underwear.

    I wasn't used to looking at a man's butt. I was used to the smoother, more gentle curves of a woman's butt. Brad's ass was round. It didn't slope down from his back. It just started at the top and ended at the bottom. Like I said, it was interesting and it was exciting. I could feel my cock growing as I looked at it.

    I blinked myself into awareness and stood up to get another beer for each of us, making sure I marked a line on Brad's IOU chart. When I returned, Brad was sitting on the sofa, paddles in hand. He handed me one. Music was coming from the TV speakers and the words ‘Top Gear' flashed onto the screen.

    I caught onto the game quickly enough, probably because there were only two buttons I had to concentrate on. He beat me easily the first few tracks, but soon he had a tough time trying to stay ahead of me. I didn't let on that I was imagining chasing his ass around the track.

    * * * * *

    I didn't know that was Jacob McConnell until the waitress guided him to my table. He was a small man, almost frail-looking. He was almost bald - just a line of short, neatly-trimmed hair. He reminded me of a miniature version of Star Trek's Captain Picard. Just older. He was nicely dressed, though. Neat, clean. I rose to greet him.

    "Ted de Villiers," I said.

    "Jacob McConnell." He took my hand and we shook them.

    I indicated he should take his seat and he did. "Would you like something to drink?"

    He eyed my beer and said, "I don't drink." To the waitress, he said, "Coffee, please." He turned to me and looked me squarely in the eyes. "You're Ted de Villiers. Full name, Francis Theodore. Your birthday is August 13th. You were born in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Your grandparents came over from Johannesburg in 1922 and settle in Halifax. They moved to Dartmouth in 1927. You moved to Ontario with your parents when you were seven years old. You lived in St. Catherines until you were sixteen. Your parents still live in Crystal Beach. You're a computer programmer and you work for. . ."

    I held up my hand, silencing him. "You're hired," I said.

    The waitress arrived with Jacob's coffee and we placed our dinner orders. After she left, Jacob said, "I may be old, Mr. de Villiers, but I can do this job better than anyone else. I'm doing it because I want to, not because I must. You will get no-less satisfaction from the results because of that. I will get you the information you need, and I guarantee it on paper or I don't charge. I ask only that you pay my expenses."

    I smiled at him. "I'm ready to write you a bonus cheque right now."

    And then he smiled. "I don't need the money, Sir. I have enough to keep me happy. Save it for your daughter. She's the one who needs it now."

    As we ate our dinner, Jacob made notes in a small pad. "I'll talk to Lindsay about the babysitters her Mother hires," I said.

    He didn't look up from his pad as he wrote. "Don't worry. I'll find them."

    "But I've hired a few as well."

    "I'll find them, too. Their information could be useful in verifying your abilities as a parent."

    "I can get the names easier."

    He stopped writing and looked at me. "You're my boss now. I do the work. You pay me. It's my job." He went back to writing again. "I don't have one of those new-fangled cameras," he said. "I'm too old to learn how to use it. I still use film, if that's okay."

    "That's fine," I said. "Whatever it takes."

    We finished our meal. Jacob would start immediately and give me daily reports. We left the restaurant as good friends.

    I bought the paint I wanted and stopped at Tim Horton's on the way, picking up a box of Timbits and a half-dozen apple fritters and coffee before heading home. I entered the house. I could hear game music coming from the TV in the livingroom.

    "Brad!" I shouted. I sounded like Ricky Ricardo. "I'm home!" I headed for the livingroom and was surprised not to see Brad sitting on the sofa. His T-shirt was there, though. The game was still running on the TV screen. And then I saw the puddle of vomit on the carpet in front of the sofa. "Brad!!?" No answer. I dropped the coffee and doughnuts. "Brad!!!" Still no answer. Panic set in. "Brad!!!" I screamed.

    Bathroom, I thought. I ran down the hall and looked in. "Oh, God!" Brad was lying on the floor, curled into a ball around the toilet. He lay in another pool of vomit. Beads of perspiration covered his forehead and I could see him gasping for breath. He was holding his stomach. His body was shaking and he was crying. I dropped to my knees behind him and put my left hand on his arm, squeezing it gently. "Brad," I said soothingly, "I'm here, Brad."

    He tried to look at me, but couldn't. "Ted, help me!" His voice was weak and full of more pain than anyone should have to endure. And then he puked again. His body heaved and he retched. I soothed him as much as I could while trying to keep my own dinner in my stomach.

    I'd seen this before. With Lindsay. When he stopped puking, I said, "I'm going to move your arm, Brad. Don't fight me." I reached out and moved it aside. With my left hand still on his arm, I reached out with my right hand and placed my fingers gently against his lower abdomen. "I'm sorry, Brad," I said. "I have to do this." I pressed my fingers into him.

    Brad screamed in agony. My ears rang from the sound echoing of the tiled walls and floor. His entire body tensed up. I was right. "You'll be okay, Brad," I assured him. "I'm right here. You'll be okay. I promise. Can you hear me?" Brad nodded. I could hear the vomit squishing beneath his cheek and I fought down my dinner again.

    I pulled the phone out of my pocket and called 911. "I need an ambulance," I said when the operator responded. I gave her my address and the details and was told the ambulance was on its way. I hung up, then dialed Brad's home. John answered. I tried to keep my voice calm. "John? It's Ted. Brad's sick. Get over here." I heard the phone slam down and I flipped my phone closed and dropped it into my pocket.

    I kissed Brad's cheek and grabbed his hand. He squeezed it tight and held on. "Help's coming, Baby," I said. "Hang in there. I won't leave you."

    "Oh, God, Ted! It hurts!"

    "I know, Baby. I know. You'll be okay. I promise."

    "Don't leave me, Ted," he begged.

    "I'm not going anywhere." I kissed him again.

    A moment later, I heard a panicked voice shouting, "Bradley!??"

    "Here, John!" I shouted. "In the bathroom!"

    Footsteps hastened down the hall, and then John was on the floor beside me. Bernice stood in the doorway, her hand covering her mouth trying to stifle her gasp.

    "It's his appendix," I said. "I don't think it's ruptured yet. Ambulance is on its way. I should have seen this coming." Actually, when I thought about it later, I had seen it. Brad passed it off as ‘laughing pains', but I hadn't paid attention to where it was that he had been rubbing his stomach. I cursed myself for it.

    "I'll wait for it," Bernice said, and headed for the front door.

    I pulled my hand free from Brad's, stood up, grabbed a wash cloth, soaked it with cold water, then knelt down beside him again. I dabbed at his forehead.

    "Ted?" It was John who spoke.

    I looked at him. The question was clear in his eyes. "He'll be okay, John. We got to him in time. He'll need surgery, though."

    John nodded, then looked back down at his son, his hand resting on Brad's thigh and stroking it gently. I could hear the ambulance siren approaching, and then a clatter in my house. I stood up, grasped John by the shoulders, and pulled him away out of the bathroom. "Come on, John. They need room to work."

    John came away with me into the hall. I could feel him quivering beneath my hands. My assessment had been correct. Brad was soon hooked up to an IV and placed gently on a gurney. They wheeled him out of the house and into the ambulance. We helped Bernice into the back.

    "I'll be right behind you," John said. Bernice waved sadly. The doors closed and the ambulance sped away.

    "Would you like me to drive you to the hospital?" I asked John.

    "You're going, too, aren't you?"

    "No, but I'll drive you if you wish."

    "Ted," John said quietly as he placed his hands on my arms. "I'm old, but I'm not blind. Bradley needs you to be there and you know it. I know it, too. And I know that you need to be there with him just as much."

    I was stunned. "John. . . I. . ."

    He stopped me with a raised palm. "Just promise me you'll never hurt my boy, because, if you do, I swear I'll kill you."

    "I could never hurt Brad."

    And then he smiled reassuringly. "I know you couldn't." I smiled back nervously. "He loves you, too, you know," John added. "He's just too damned stupid to admit it to himself. Now, let's lock up and get over there."

    * * * * *

    "Mom?" Brad's voice was weak, strained.

    "I'm here, Bradley," Bernice was holding his hand and brushing his hair with her fingers. "I'm here."

    "Where am I?" he asked. "What happened to me?"

    "You're in the hospital, dear," she replied. "It was your appendix. The doctors had to remove it."

    "Dad?"

    "I'm here, Son," John said. "Ted's here, too." I had called into work and told them I'd be a bit late. Family emergency. I could still make it by noon if I only stayed for a few minutes. I just wanted to be there when Brad woke up.

    Brad's eyes searched for us and found us. When he found my face, he said, "I'm sorry, Ted. I tried to get to the bathroom."

    I smiled. "Don't worry about it. Been there, done that," I said. "I've got a nine-year-old daughter, remember?"

    "That's how Ted knew what was wrong," Bernice said. "Lindsay had her appendix out when she was six."

    "Am I going to be okay?"

    "You're going to be fine, dear," Bernice assured him. She kissed his cheek. "It's just going to be a week or two before you're back on your feet."

    Brad's eyes found mine. "Will you come visit me?"

    I searched for the answer in both Bernice and John.

    "Ted is welcome to visit you whenever he wants to, Son," John replied as Brad's eyes turned to him. "We'll talk about this when you're feeling better."

    Brad looked back at me and smiled. His blinks were slow and full of effort, as if he was having a tough time lifting his eyelids up again. Then he turned to his Mother. "I think I'm falling asleep again. Will you be here when I wake up?"

    "I'll be right here, Bradley," Bernice promised.

    "I love you, Mom." Brad's eyelids were sagging dangerously now.

    "I love you, too, Bradley."

    "I. . . um. . ." But Brad didn't say anything more. He was asleep.

    The nurse, who had been in the room with us, said, "He'll probably sleep another few hours if you'd like to take a bit of a break."

    "Come on, dear," John said. "Bradley will be here when you come back. I think you need a coffee. You, too, Ted. The three of us should talk."

    I nodded. Bernice kissed Brad's forehead and released his hand. She stepped aside so John could kiss him, too. "I love you, Son," he whispered. He stepped back and waited, as if he expected me to kiss him as well. I wasn't quite ready for that.

    Instead, I smiled. "Let's go find some coffee. My treat."

    "Not this time, Ted," John said.

    I nodded.

    * * * * *

    The coffee tasted exactly as cafeteria coffee should - filtered through yesterday's dishrag. The muffins helped to disguise the flavour, though.

    "Bernice already told me she talked to you about Bradley being adopted," John said. "That doesn't make him any less our son, and we don't love him any less. We'd do anything for that boy. And I think you would, too."

    Bernice took over. "We don't understand why Bradley feels this way, but we've suspected it for a long time. He's had a very difficult time these past few years, trying to make friends. We've never pushed him in any direction. We feel he has to find his own way. We don't want to take him where he doesn't want to go."

    "The point is, Ted," John said, "he seems to have found his way to you all by himself."

    "I'm not gay," I said. "At least, I don't think I am. I've never even been with a man before."

    "Not even with Bradley?" Bernice asked.

    "No." I sucked in a deep, calming breath. "We've kissed and hugged, but that's all."

    "We thought you might have," Bernice said. "I mean, he's slept at your home, and you spent that night in Toronto."

    "To be honest," I said, "I'm not at all sure either of us would even know what to do. It's a new experience for both of us. I don't understand these feelings myself. All I know is I can't stop them."

    "We don't want you to, Ted," John assured me. "Since you moved in next door, Bradley has been happier than we've ever seen him. We're happy that he might be finally finding himself."

    "We will never judge either of you, Ted, nor will we ever condemn you. We love Bradley more than anything else. We want only what's best for him. We want only to see him happy."

    I nodded. "That's exactly what he told me you would say. I didn't believe him."

    "Bradley doesn't lie, Ted," John added. "And neither do we." I was still stunned, and John could see it. "Bradley is the second-most important person in my life." He turned to Bernice and winked. "I want Bradley to be happy, and you make him happy. I must accept that. Just promise me you'll never hurt him."

    I fought back the tears. "I swear, John. I'll never hurt Brad. I told you that already."

    He smiled again and patted my cheek. "I knew you wouldn't," he said. "I just needed to hear you say it again. So Bernice could hear it, too." He took his hands away.

    I nodded again. I think I do that a lot. "And this ‘age' thing doesn't bother you?"

    "It doesn't bother Bradley," John said. "Why should it bother us?"

    I shrugged. I don't do that as much as nodding.

    Bernice reached a hand across the table and set it on top of the back of mine. "Just promise me that you'll take care of Bradley for us."

    "You have my word."

    * * * * *

    I stopped by the next day after work to see Brad. I brought him some fresh apple fritters. Bernice was still there - ever vigilant. Brad's face broke into a huge smile. "Hi, Ted."

    "My, you're looking more chipper today."

    "Still hurts like he. . ." He glanced quickly at his Mother and rethought his terminology. ". . . heck, but I'm feeling better."

    "Great. Look, I don't know if you're allowed to eat these, but I brought them for you anyway, just in case." I held the bag out to him.

    "Apple fritters," Bernice said. She grabbed the bag from my hand before Brad could get his hands on it and set it out of his reach. "We'll ask your doctor, first."

    Brad looked at me and rolled his eyes. "Mothers!" Then he turned serious and held out his hand to me. I looked at Bernice and she nodded once. I took his hand and squeezed it tightly. "I wish you had been there with me last night, Ted. I was so scared. It happened so fast."

    "I wish I had been there for you."

    Brad squeezed my hand. "Mom told me they talked to you about us. You know what she said to me?"

    I shook my head ‘no'.

    "She said, if we get married, at least she'd get a granddaughter out of the deal."

    I laughed, and so did Bernice. Brad laughed, too, but not too much. He was too busy wincing in pain.

    * * * * *

    When I got home that night, I began planning Brad's ‘Welcome Back and Welcome Home' party. Before I fell asleep, I lay in bed for hours, wondering what it would be like to spend the rest of my life with Brad.

    I'm sure I was smiling when I finally fell asleep.

    To Be Continued

  13. #113
    gayemtinpa
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    Re: Watching Brad

    ah heck....that wasn't that bad......only 5 tissues and a few chuckles......You are fabulous!!!

  14. #114
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    Re: Watching Brad

    What a beautiful story or I should say what a good

    storyteller you are. It just keeps getting better all

    the time. Can't wait for another chapter.

    Thank you so much man.
    shea

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    Re: Watching Brad

    It's been one heck of a long day (I got started at 6), and this was an absolutely wonderful thing to come home to--and I got two episodes to boot! Thank you SO much for sharing it with us. I love an awesome love story!

  16. #116
    HA! ;-)
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    Re: Watching Brad

    I read the previous chapter just minutes after you posted it, then had to run, without a chance to post a comment. It colored my day in wonderful hues, and now I find another chapter!

    Neil ... Buddy ... Pal ... (if I may call you that, my Friend) ... Seriously, you need to find a good literary agent! Not a publisher, but an Agent! And though I may work for the third largest commercial printer on this planet, I have no clear idea on how to go about doing that. But ... do it you Must!

    I have no idea what it is you do for a living, but I DO know you are a "born" writer! And the fact that you Love writing is apparent in every sentence and paragraph! I wish I had a small fraction of your passion, and talent!

    Seriously think about the Agent "thing"! Yes???

    Keep smilin'!!
    Chaz
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

  17. #117
    Sex God mexamor's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    I don't know what to say. this story is so beautiful. Personally I enjoy all of the intimacy, the relationships, the back story to this. I come here every day just to read a new chapter. It makes me feel sweet love. You write beautiful prose and show a depth of character that makes us care so much about the people in your story. How will Brad and Ted help Randy, will Ted get custody of his daughter. How will the operation come out? So much. I don't worry about the sex, I'm sure you'll put it in but it will be just as gentle and pure as the love that Brad and Ted feel for each other, no crudness here. What a sensitive story. My heart aches with their aches and my blood rushes with their excitment. Thank you so much for this. My own intimacy is better because of this story.

  18. #118
    On the Prowl newkidondagayblock's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    I love these kinds of stories where there is less graphic sex and more of Love. Its like watching a Horror movie (sorry for the analogy), its not what you see that scares you, its what you DONT see that's creepy.

    Here too its the love that is exciting and not the actual act of lovemaking.

  19. #119
    On the Prowl Trent0n1's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Oh bugger! My eyes are leaking......again!

  20. #120
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    Re: Watching Brad

    A bit about me before the next chapter.

    I'm 54 and I'm disabled. I don't get around much. Not really easy for me to do. If I walk more than a block, I have to find somewhere to sit down. So, I'm stuck at home most of the time.

    I'm only doing this because I don't have much else to do. I don't think I'd ever want to be paid for it. I think I'd rather not be paid and be told how much you guys enjoy what I'm doing for you. I mean, why paint a picture and not have the joy of seeing people look at it?

    I love all you guys. If what I can do makes your day better, then you make my day better, too, and it's all worth it to me.

    Maybe I'll take the day off and post the next chapter tomorrow.

    Nah. No fun that way. Here it comes. Enjoy.

  21. #121
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    Re: Watching Brad

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part XIII

    The paint supplies sat in a corner in my bedroom, waiting for Brad. I stopped by on Thursday after work to visit him and he looked much stronger. The doctors expected him to be released on Sunday although he'd be confined to bed for a few days longer before he'd be allowed to get up and move around.

    I met Jacob on Thursday evening. He already had a partial list of babysitters' names. He even knew which of us had hired them. He'd begin interviews with them soon. He also told me that The Bitch had been out Wednesday night and gone to a bar with a man named Henderson. She hadn't returned home until 2:27 AM. She was out with him again tonight.

    "I'll pick them up again at the bar when I finish here," he said.

    "I get Lindsay this Friday evening," I told him. "You get a week off."

    "Are you sure you don't want to watch her? If she's dating different men all the time, you may want to know about them. I'd hate to see you lose your child because I didn't do my job properly."

    Jacob smiled. It was an honest, sincere smile. "Mr. de Villiers," he said, "I wake up and watch television. I eat lunch and I watch television. I eat supper and I watch television. And then I go to bed. My brain needs this."

    "Why did you retire, then?"

    He looked down at the table. "I got depressed when my wife died. I couldn't concentrate, so I quit." His eyes found mine again. "This has given me the kick in the pants I need. I'm feeling like I'm doing something again. I was going to let my license expire this September, but I'm renewing it. I've already got Ma Bell putting my ad back in the Yellow Pages." He winked at me and smiled. "And it's all because of The Bitch."

    I smiled back. "Well, what do you know? She finally did something useful."

    * * * * *

    The Bitch wasn't home when I picked up Lindsay on Friday night. I didn't care where she was. I knew Jacob would tell me anyway. We stopped by to see Brad, whose face lit up like a Christmas tree when he saw the apple fritter Lindsay bought for him.

    "I used my own money out of my piggy bank, too."

    I had to lift her up so Brad could give her a kiss.

    When I set her down again, she asked, "Brad? Does your tooth hurt? The broke one?"

    "No," he said.

    "How did you break it?"

    "Promise you won't laugh?"

    Lindsay nodded.

    "I broke it last year in our bathroom at home. I dropped my toothbrush and bent down to pick it up and I bumped into our toilet."

    Lindsay laughed.

    "Hey! You promised you wouldn't laugh!" And then Brad giggled right along with her when Lindsay covered her mouth with her hands.

    Bernice just looked at me and smiled. She was always there during visiting hours.

    Brad held up the Tim Horton's bag. "Can I save this for dessert?"

    Lindsay nodded energetically. "Daddy bought some so you could eat them later when you're hungry."

    "You're going to make him fat," Bernice said.

    Brad looked at me. I spoke before he could. "Yeah, I know," I said. "Mothers!"

    * * * * *

    "Daddy?"

    "Yes, Sweetheart?"

    "When can I come to live with you?"

    I pulled her blanket around her and tucked her in. "I'm trying, Sweetheart. We have to go see a judge soon and he'll tell us where you can live."

    "Why can't I live where I want to?"

    A lump formed in my throat. How in hell do you answer a question like that? I kissed her forehead as I though something up. "Sometimes, Sweetheart, when parents have troubles like your Mother and me, a judge has to decide where the children live. It's just the way things are."

    "Can I tell him I want to live with you?"

    "Yes, you can. He will probably ask you a lot of questions about living here and living with your Mom. I want you to tell him the truth, okay? It's very important."

    She pulled her arms out from beneath the blankets and sat up in bed. She wrapped her arms around my chest and hugged me. I hugged her back. "I love you, Daddy," she said into my shirt.

    "I love you, too, Sweetheart." I held onto her as if I were terrified that, if I let her go, I'd never be able to hug her again. I clenched my eyes shut.

    "Daddy, you're hurting me."

    I released her. "I'm sorry, Sweetheart. Are you okay?"

    She smiled at me. "I'm okay, Daddy. I wish I could hug you just as strong."

    I smiled back at her. "You hug me better than anyone else, Sweetheart." I kissed her on the lips. "Okay, come on now. Bedtime." I guided her back into bed and tucked her in.

    "Will you read me the story about the unicorns and the flower garden?"

    "You're old enough to read that yourself, Lindsay."

    "I like it more when you read it to me."

    I couldn't resist that smile. I found the book and sat on her bedside and opened the book to the first page. I began to read. "The flower garden was the most beautiful flower garden in the whole, wide world, and the unicorns were the most beautiful unicorns. There was a white one and a black one, and there was on of the shiniest silver and another of the shiniest gold. And there was a pink one with orange stripes and purple polka dots."

    Lindsay burst into laughter. "There is not, Daddy. You made that up!"

    I loved listening to Lindsay laugh. She gave me warm fuzzies all over. Brad did, too, come to think of it. His were bigger.

    * * * * *

    Lindsay spent most of Saturday afternoon decorating Brad's apple fritters. Bernice gave us her cake decorating kit and gave us a recipe for the icing. I'd taken Lindsay to the store and she picked out all the things she wanted to put on them.

    There were six fritters in all. One topped with Smarties and Gummie Worms and another with chocolate chips and raisons. The third was covered entirely in icing and had maraschino cherries in a smiley face design. The next was stuck with pieces of black and red licorice, and the last simply had "I (heart) Bra" written in icing on the top. The ‘d' was on the side. I couldn't wait to see Brad's face when he saw that.

    John let us into the house on Sunday morning and helped Lindsay and I decorate. I think he was taken by Lindsay's excitement and it weakened him. Before long, he was routing through the Christmas and holiday decorations for different things to put up. I expected him to bring up the Christmas tree.

    We waited inside as John went to the hospital to pick up his son. He was supposed to go straight to bed, but John and Bernice walked him into the living room where Lindsay and I were waiting. I thought Brad was going to cry. They walked him to the sofa and gingerly sat him down on it.

    Lindsay presented him with the box containing the fritters. There was a card taped to the top. "I made the card myself on my computer," she said excitedly. Brad opened it. A picture of a teddy bear was on the front with the name ‘Brad' printed on its belly. Inside were the words, "Don't be sick long. Love, Lindsay". He gave her a big kiss on the cheek.

    Brad held the bottom of the box as Lindsay lifted the lid. Brad looked inside and started to laugh. "Ow! Ow! Ow!" he said, but he laughed anyway. When I tilted the "I (heart) Bra" fritter so he could see the side, he started laughing all over again, followed by a few more Ow's.

    He didn't laugh as hard when he opened my package of paint roller refills, but I got a kiss on the cheek anyway.

    The party didn't last too long, though. Bernice kept Lindsay busy in the kitchen as I helped John take Brad to his bedroom. Between the two of us, we got Brad stripped to his underwear and into bed. When he was settle in under the sheets, Brad looked at his Father. "Dad?" he said.

    "I'll leave you two alone," he said, his hand on my upper arm. "Take your time." He closed the door when he went out.

    Brad patted the side of his bed and I sat down. He reached out for my hand and I let him take it. I brushed at his hair with my other hand as I looked down into his face. "You scared the living shit out of me, Brad."

    "I'm sorry," he said.

    "I know. But I also know that something like that doesn't come on in a day. How long has it been going on?"

    "A few weeks now. I thought it would go away by itself."

    "You're very lucky, you know. You could have been in deep shit if it had ruptured.

    "I know," he said. "The doctor told Mom and me that I could have died if it had."

    "Well, at least it will never happen again," I said with a smirk. "You only get one appendix. It doesn't grow back."

    He smiled at me. "Will you come visit me next week?"

    "Every chance I get." I rubbed his hair again. Then we just sat there staring at each other for a few minutes.

    "Ted?" he said quietly. "I. . . um. . ." I waited. "Will you kiss me?"

    "What's the going rate for kisses these days?"

    Brad laughed. "Ow! Ow! Ow! Don't do that."

    I leaned down and found his lips with mine. It wasn't a passionate kiss. We did no exploring. I was just a tender kiss - long and tender. When I pulled away, Brad said, "You can do that any time you want."

    "I'd better get going before your parents send out a posse."

    "Okay. See you tomorrow?"

    "Count on it."

    "Bye, Ted."

    I handed Brad the remote for his TV and left him with a final ‘goodbye'.

    As I walked down the hall to join the others in the kitchen, I suddenly realized that I hadn't even noticed what colour underwear Brad was wearing. I was too busy looking at him.

    * * * * *

    Terry showed up bright and early Monday morning. I quickly filled her in on the latest news, made sure she knew where the important numbers were, told her Lindsay could have anything in the kitchen to eat, and that ‘Grandma' next door would be happy to help out if she wasn't sure what to do. Terry assured me that she and Lindsay would be fine. As a final message, I told her that Lindsay would probably want to go next door to see Brad, the boy Terry had met the week earlier.

    "Daddy," Lindsay said impatiently, "Terry is smart! She knows what to do. Now go to work ‘cuz I want to show her my unicorn!"

    What else could I do? I went to work.

    I needn't have worried. Terry and Lindsay got along famously. Terry even got a farewell hug from my daughter. "She's the bestest babysitter ever," she told me later.

    I grabbed a quick shower, changed, and cooked dinner for Lindsay and I. Of course, Brad got another visit. I sat on the edge of the bed talking to Brad as Lindsay played with yet another video game system Brad had hooked up to his television.

    She stopped playing, turned to face us, and asked, "Daddy? What are fags?"

    Whoa! Whang! Boom! Right in the kisser! Breathe, Ted. Breathe! I could see Brad tensing up suddenly beside me.

    I got off the bed and knelt before my daughter. I gulped, hoping my voice would sound like me when I spoke. "Where did you hear that, Sweetheart?"

    "Mommy said you and Brad are fags," she said. "Uncle Wayne showed her a picture of you dancing with Brad."

    "No, Sweetheart, I'm not one of those. It's a bad name to call someone."

    "Why does Mommy call you that then?"

    "Your Mom is mad at me. She doesn't like me anymore. She likes to call me names, but she shouldn't be saying them to you."

    "She told me Uncle Warren and Uncle Bill are fags, too, and I can't go see them anymore."

    "That's not going to happen, Sweetheart. You can see them again."

    She turned thoughtful, tapping her lower lip with her fingertip like The Bitch always does. "Uncle Warren loves Uncle Bill, doesn't he?"

    "Yes, he does."

    "Do you love Brad?"

    I looked at Brad. I could see him waiting for my answer to her. I looked back at Lindsay and said, "Yes, Sweetheart, I love Brad."

    She smiled. "That's okay, Daddy, ‘cuz I love him, too." She turned thoughtful again and asked, "Do you love Brad more than you love me?"

    "No, Lindsay. I'll never love anyone as much as I love you."

    Lindsay grinned, looked at Brad, and stuck out her tongue at him. Brad stuck out his tongue at Lindsay. The Battle of the Tongues finally came to an end when Commander Ted threatened to throw his shoe through the television set.

    * * * * *

    The Bitch was waiting for me when I took Lindsay home on Friday night. She met me at the door, stuffing faux-diamond studs into her earlobes. "Where in hell have you been!?" she shouted. "I've had the babysitter here for an hour! I don't like paying her when there's no baby for her to sit with!"

    "I'm not a baby, Mommy."

    I just held Lindsay closer to my legs, holding my hands protectively in front of her. "It's my fault, dear," I said calmly. "I took her to visit her friend."

    "Speaking of friends, did you enjoy yourself at the wedding?" Her malicious smirk didn't go unnoticed.

    I smiled and said, "Yes, dear, I had a wonderful time." I brought my right hand to my chest where Lindsay couldn't see it and made a fist. "I saw Wayne there," I said and I extended my middle finger. "Tell him I said ‘hello'."

    I squatted down and Lindsay turned to face me. Her arms came around my neck and she hugged me close. I held her as closely as I could as I kissed her cheek. I looked into her brown eyes and said, "Now, you be a good girl." I kissed her nose. "I'll see you next week, okay?" I kissed her forehead.

    "Okay, Daddy. I love you."

    "I love you, too, Sweetheart." I puckered my lips and waited for my ‘goodbye' kiss. It was the sweetest kiss I'd ever tasted.

    I stood up and The Bitch placed her hand on Lindsay's back, pushing her into the apartment. She said to someone in the apartment. "Have her in bed by nine, and stay out of the fridge. I don't know what time I'll be home. You'd better still be here." She grabbed her purse and closed and locked the door.

    I walked with her down the hall toward the elevators. She checked her watch. "Damn! I'm late!" She checked the buttons on her blouse. "I don't know what game you're playing, Ted, but it's not going to work."

    "I'm not playing any games."

    "You won't get her. I'll see to that."

    I stopped her and spun her around to face me. "And I'll never stop fighting for her. You have my word on that."

    "Are you threatening me?"

    "No, dear, I'm not," I said with surprising calm. "But this is a threat. If you don't stop filling Lindsay's head with horror stories and lies and nasty names about me, you'll wish you'd never opened your mouth. So, buckle up, Sweetheart, ‘cuz you're in for one hell of a bumpy ride! I will never stop fighting for my daughter!"

    I left her standing there and I walked to the elevators. I pushed the button and the doors opened immediately. I entered and turned around to face the front. The Bitch was running on very high heels toward me. I smiled at her and pushed ‘Door Close' button. The last thing she saw as they closed was my smiling face and middle finger sticking up.

    * * * * *

    I was surprised to see Brad sitting out on the wall when I got home. I grabbed a couple of beers out of the fridge and went out to join him. He was wearing a white bathrobe that fell to just below his knees.

    "Dad helped me come out here. I told him I wanted to wait for you to come home." I handed him a beer. "Can't," he said. "Antibiotics.

    "Oh, sorry," I said as set the bottle down again. I lit up a cigarette. I grinned at Brad wickedly and winked at him. "I got to give The Bitch the finger and closed the elevator doors in her face. I feel like celebrating." I took a good, healthy swig. "She's burying herself, Brad, and she doesn't even know it. Jacob's racking up all sorts of shit on her."

    "Does she even love Lindsay, Ted?"

    "Not as much as money," I said. "That's the sad part. We were really happy together. We were a family. But she got hung up on those celebrity shows on television and she wanted it all."

    "Lindsay deserves better than that."

    "You don't know the half of it, Brad. It tears me apart to leave her in that apartment every other Friday. The way her Mother treats her. . ."

    "Don't take her back there then."

    "That's kidnapping. I'd go to jail."

    "But she's your daughter. You can't kidnap your own daughter."

    "Yes, you can. It's the law."

    "I didn't know that." I didn't hear Brad's under-the-breath oath. "Do you have a court date yet?"

    "November 15, but my lawyer is trying hart to push it ahead. He knows the judge. He hopes she'll have an opening and she can squeeze us in."

    I could see Brad nodding. He fell silent, sitting there and looking at the grass for a minute. "Don't you like looking at me anymore?"

    I didn't see that question coming. I stopped with the bottle half-way to my mouth and looked at him. "What are you talking about? I look at you all the time."

    "Not the same way."

    I had no idea what he was talking about. "I'm sorry, Brad. I'm lost. Give me a map."

    Brad was quiet for awhile. Thinking, I imagine. He was looking at the grass again. "You used to look at my shorts. You hardly ever look there anymore."

    I hadn't even realized how long I'd been doing that until recently, but Brad must have. I mean, his crotch was just as much a part of being him as his chipped tooth was. I don't look at that, either. Well, not deliberately. They're both just part of being Brad.

    "Is it important that I look at you like that?"

    Brad turned to me. "Isn't that why you fell in love with me?"

    "No," I said. "I fell in love with you."

    He shrugged a shoulder. "What's the dif. . ."

    "Bradley!?"

    Brad looked over his left shoulder. I looked over mine. John was standing at the back door. "Yeah, Dad?"

    "Would you like me to bring out your antibiotics?"

    Brad looked at me, questioning silently. I shrugged. "What for?" I asked him quietly.

    "In case I stay at your place tonight," he said with a shy smirk.

    "Oh," I answered stupidly. I shrugged again.

    Brad turned back to his father. "Okay, Dad, thanks. I don't have my keys!"

    "I'll bring them for you!" He disappeared inside and closed the door.

    I took another nerve-steadying swig as Brad turned back to face me again.

    "Okay, you said you fell in love with me, but you don't look at me anymore."

    I set the bottle on the wall and took Brad by the hand. He squeezed it tightly. I could see the confusion in his eyes. "Brad, do you honestly believe that I fell in love with what you have between your legs?"

    Brad nodded his head. "That's what love is, isn't it?"

    I tried to smile at him. I don't think I did a very good job at it. "Oh, Brad. No, Sweetie. It isn't." I fought for words and they came. "Not for me, at least. Love means different things to different people. For The Bitch, it's money. For others, it might be that torpedo you have. For me. . . well. . . I'm fascinated by what you have, but that isn't what made me fall in love with you. I fell in love with this." I placed my palm on his chest. Right over his heart. "I fell in love with what's in here. Do you understand?"

    Brad shook his head. I sat back and pulled my hand away. "Okay, try this. You said you think you might be falling in love with me, too." Brad nodded. "Why?"

    He looked down at the grass again. I could almost hear the gears and spindles working in his brain. He took a breath and let it out. "I feel good when I'm with you. You make me feel happy. I get a nice feeling inside me." He looked at me. "You make me feel like I never want to be away from you." He was quiet for a moment. "It's just the way you make me feel?"

    I smiled a real smile this time. "And that's exactly the way you make me feel."

    Brad didn't look at the grass. He looked at me. "Then I really think I'm falling in love with you." Brad leaned forward slowly, his lips coming closer and closer to mine. His head tilted slightly to one side. Mine tilted to the other. His lips touched mine and they pressed together, and then they started to move. My eyes closed and the world disappeared. There was only me and Brad.

    There were no tongues this time. Only lips. We just wanted to kiss. And we did. My hand came up behind his head, my fingers tangling themselves in the long hair at the back. I clutched at it, afraid that he would go away if I let go. Brad's right arm came around my back and pulled me close. I think he was afraid I'd go away, too.

    I've enjoyed a lot of kisses in my time, but this was, by far, the very best. It wasn't going anywhere except into our hearts, and it filled my heart to brimming. I don't know how long we kissed. I think it was a long time. I didn't want it to stop, but everything has to in its time, and our kiss was just like everything else. It finally came to a stop.

    Our lips parted, but our faces stayed close to each other and we stared into each other's eyes. I know Brad found what he wanted to see in mine, and I finally saw what I wanted to see in his. I could feel the excited breath from his nostrils blowing across my lips and chin and I opened my mouth so I could breathe it in.

    I barely heard myself as I spoke. I hoped Brad could hear it. "I love you, Brad."

    He looked at me, his eyes desperate, anxious, and happy all at the same time. "I. . ." he whispered. "I think. . ."

    I smiled and placed my hand on his cheek and Brad closed his eyes. "It's okay," I said softly. "You don't have to. . ."

    His eyes opened, stopping me before I could finish the sentence. His own hand came up to my cheek as well. "Yes, I do," he whispered. "I have to say it." I waited for him. This was a big step. No rushing it. His eyes went far away. He swallowed and his eyes came back. "I. . . I love you, too, Ted."

    We both came together for a kiss this time. We both started it. We both enjoyed it, and we both finished it.

    When it was finished, and when we were sitting back up again, we saw the jacket and the antibiotics and the house keys and a clean set of underwear sitting in a small pile on the wall beside Brad.

    To Be Continued

  22. #122
    HA! ;-)
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Damn it, Neil! You're making it difficult to post a reply! I'm pretty good at typing, but I prefer to be able to watch the screen while I'm doing it! And now the letters are all Watery, and Blurry!!

    Keep smilin'!!
    Chaz
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  23. #123
    gekko513
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    Re: Watching Brad

    This story is getting better and better. Imagine my joy when I found two new chapters waiting to be read when I checked in today.

    The love story is so sweet and together with the well thought out interwoven side stories this is an excellent piece of literature in my opinion.

  24. #124
    Porn Star pkacrotjs's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    I'm such a sucker for romance..... Thank You Neil!

  25. #125
    JUB Addict Craiger's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Neil,

    Sharing is a two way street. You have shared with us your exceptional writings and it is only fair that we in turn share our appreciation with you. Love is the main force of life and you have so brilliantly displayed it.

    I wish you the best with you health concerns. Please take care of yourself.

    Craiger

  26. #126
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Thank you for taking the time to write this incredible story . I hope your health improves.

    I agree with what you suggested, about creating a new thread because of the "Last Page" button.

  27. #127
    Newbie bidou's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    what a nice story

    thanks

  28. #128
    On the Prowl bhtupstateny's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Neil -

    I just posted last night too, but find myself compelled to post again. I think I am going to have to side with Chaz - you truly are blessed in your story telling, and should find a professional outlet for your writing(s). I find myself rushing home to check the board to see if you have posted a new chapter, and am always elated to find a new chapter posted. I have read a few stories on this board, and usually I lose interest in them quickly as the outcome is more often than not predictable. But each time your added post(s) throws a new curve on the plot. BRAVO!!

    This story is refreshing and enlightening. I think in this day and age our ability to obtain instant gratification, chivalry and TRUE LOVE very often get passed by, or worse yet, neglected. I've been single for two years now after a 13 year relationship, and I so long for what you have created between Ted and Brad. Maybe I am being too over zealous, or wishing upon that star too drastically, but damnit I want that... Maybe it is something we all desire (I hope...)

    I don't usually post much, I more of a lurker, but on those few occasions I find a post or whatever, I let the originator know my gratitude for their efforts. You have ignited a glimmer of hope in my heart that there is someone out there... Sorry to write such a dreary post in this wonderful story, but I just had to get it off my chest.

    Thank you again for such an outstanding story. Keep up the GREAT WORK!!!

    "Sometimes you have to take things the way they are, not the way you want them to be or the way they could have been, and sometimes it turns out that what you thought you really wanted, is nothing compared to what you get ..."

    I can't recall where I found that, nor who said it, but I thought it fit really well here for some reason...

    Well, off of my soapbox for now -take care of yourself Neil, you'll be in my thoughts. Be well...

    -Brad (yes, that is my name, how ironic, eh? )

  29. #129

    Re: Watching Brad

    This story is really fantastic. I just can't stop reading it. You are really a good writer. This story has a really different and nice approach that I haven't seen before. Love it.

  30. #130

    Re: Watching Brad

    bhtupstateny is a mind reader he said just everything I wanted to say. I'm on cloud nine and get the warm fuzzies all over while reading a new chapter. All good things must come to an end but this story are one of those you wish would not.

    Neil your story is a work of art. Thanks so much for writing it.

  31. #131
    gayemtinpa
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Neil,
    In case you haven't noticed, lot's of guys love this story. I know your response about getting this published. You don't write for money, merely the enjoyment of the readers. But if all the readers agree that this is truly a wonderful story, I wish you would reconsider. Perhaps if you don't want the money, to donate it to whatever charity you so desire. But this story is amazing!!!! It is what any couple or person could hope for, true love!!!!!!

  32. #132
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Fine story with all sorts of Canadian content.

    Is it set in Oshawa or Ajax? Ajax had the largest ammunition manufacturing installation on earth during WWII. Now they make...Timbits. Progress to be sure.

  33. #133
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by glueyou
    Fine story with all sorts of Canadian content.

    Is it set in Oshawa or Ajax? Ajax had the largest ammunition manufacturing installation on earth during WWII. Now they make...Timbits. Progress to be sure.
    I don't know where it's set. I've left that intentionally vague, mainly because my knowledge of Oshawa or Ajax or even Courtice or Bowmanville are equally vague.

    I'll let you in on a little secret. Something happened at the end of Chapter 15 and throughout Chapter 16. I'm writing Chapter 17 and I'm having trouble dealing with it. I wasn't sure I could. But I was awake for a long time last night thinking about it. I've decided to 'let it happen' and deal with it in future chapters. I'm really not sure I like it, and I don't want to scrap all that writing.

    We don't get the chance to hit 'Select All' and 'Delete' and do it all again. Ted and Brad shouldn't have that chance, either. Like it or hate it, it's going to happen and they will deal with it. I just don't know what's going to happen to them now. (You'll get a hint tomorrow. . . if I don't change my mind in the meantime.)

  34. #134
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    Re: Watching Brad

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part XIV

    Brad smiled and blushed when he saw the pile of items. I mean, he really blushed! His neck, his face, his ears. . . everything! And he had one of the most adorable, embarrassed smiles on his face I've ever seen. I saw it all from the side. He couldn't even look at me.

    I had to smile, too.

    He looked up at me, the smile still plastered on his face and his face still bright pink in the day's fading light. He looked away again. I could see his shoulders bouncing up and down as he giggled to himself. "I think we should go shopping for some cowbells," he said.

    That did it. I started laughing out loud. I couldn't help it. I tried to stop it, to keep Brad from hurting himself, but I couldn't. I got up and walked into the house, leaving Brad sitting there, holding his hand over his incision. Tears were rolling down my face and I went to the bathroom to try to calm myself down. It took some time, but I managed to do it somehow. I washed my face with cold water, patted it dry, and went back out to sit with Brad again.

    He was still smiling as he watched me cross the grass.

    I sat beside him. "Are you okay?"

    "Yeah," he said. "It didn't hurt much."

    "I wonder what he thought when he saw us?"

    "I don't know, but I bet Mom's in there right now wondering if we're going to register with Zellers or Canadian Tire."

    I almost had to go into the house again, but I bit my lip until the urge passed. We were quiet for awhile. I pulled out another cigarette, looked at it, put it back into the package and put it into my pocket.

    Still, we sat quietly, Brad looking at the grass and me sipping my beer. It was a quiet night. Only the evening birds singing and insect sounds. A cricket chirped somewhere behind us. It was nice.

    Brad's voice boomed like thunder in the silence, but it was barely loud enough for me to hear it. "I'd like to stay with you tonight, Ted."

    I looked at him. He kept staring at the grass, and then he turned his head to look at me, waiting for my answer.

    I asked a question of my own instead. "What about your parents?"

    "Dad brought me clean underwear for the morning," he said. "They don't expect me to go home tonight."

    What in hell had I done to have this amazing man dropped into my lap? And why had I fallen head over heals in love with him? I didn't know. I didn't even want to know. I didn't care.

    "I'd like that," I told him just as softly.

    It was still early. The sun was hidden behind the house now, probably sitting on the horizon, ready to go to bed. That's where I suddenly wanted to be - in bed with Brad. But Brad had different plans. He slid closer to me until our arms and sides were touching. He reached out and put his left hand on my arm. His head tilted to rest against my shoulder.

    I brought my left arm around behind him so I could hold him. Brad settled closer to me, his shoulder under my arm and his head resting against my collar. His left hand, now lonely with no arm to hold onto, settled onto my chest close to his face. His arm rested against my chest and stomach. I held tightly to him, the way I hold Lindsay when we're alone and watching television together. I kissed Brad's hair like I always kissed Lindsay. Except for Lindsay, I had never felt more comfortable with anyone else in my life than Brad.

    We just sat like that. Nothing was said. Nothing was done. We just sat there as it got darker and darker. At first, I thought it was my imagination. It took some time for me to realize that my shirt was getting wet in one tiny spot. It took me longer to realize that it must be tears from Brad's eyes.

    "Brad?" I asked softly. "Are you okay?"

    He didn't move. "I don't know," he said gently. "I feel different. I feel all warm and full inside. I feel like you've reached right inside me and you're hugging me in there, too. I feel safe and I feel wanted." He lifted his head and looked into my eyes, half confusion, half sorrow, and still another half happy. His eyes were very moist. "Is this what love feels like, Ted?"

    "Yes, Brad, it is."

    He looked at me for awhile, then settled his head back in place and took a deep breath and let it out again. "Then I'm okay," he said.

    * * * * *

    I was awake when the doorbell rang. I'd been awake for awhile, thinking about the night before. I'd helped Brad into the house, carrying his things in one hand. I took him to the bathroom first, and said that I was going to lock up and shut out the lights, but he asked me to stay. He stood in front of the toilet, opened his robe, and pushed down his underwear, letting his cock roll out. I looked this time. I wasn't distracted by the bandage covering his incision.

    His cock was thick, even when soft, hanging down more than twice the distance mine does. A lot more. He grasped it in his fingers and his piss started to flow. When I think back on it now, I'm surprised that he was so comfortable with me standing right beside him. But I digress. No, I don't, because I still have no idea why I did what I did. I reached out my hand and held him in my fingers. He stopped peeing for only a moment, then started again and moved his hand away. I could feel his cock living, doing what it does. I could feel the fluid flowing through it and I could feel the blood pulsing with every beat of his heart. It was warm and it was wonderful. I could feel his balls against the back of my fingers, and they were just as warm and wonderful.

    I watched as the piss became a dribble, and then it stopped entirely. I waited a moment, and then I gave the shaft a stroke from base to head, like I do my own, and gave it a shake. The last drops splashed into the toilet. I released it, grasped the waistband of his underwear, and pulled it out and up, covering him back up once again. I flushed the toilet as Brad reached into his briefs to move his cock to where he needed it to be.

    Brad stirred at the sound of the doorbell and looked up at me. He was still where he had been when he fell asleep. . . on me. He had to sleep on his left side this time, unlike the time in the hotel in Mississauga, but he'd used my chest as a pillow all night long.

    The doorbell rang again. "Be right back," I said. I crawled out of the other side of the bed, grabbed my robe, and pulled it on as I hurried down the hall. Bernice was walking away but stopped and came back when I opened the door. She had a large bed tray in her hands. You know, the ones with the drop-down legs.

    "I'm sorry," she apologized, "did I wake you?"

    "No, but you woke up Brad."

    "Time he was awake anyway," she said. "I've brought him his breakfast. There's enough for you, too."

    "Thanks," I said, reaching for the tray.

    "Could I give it to him, please?" she asked sheepishly. "I want to see that he's okay."

    "Of course," I said, smiling. I stepped back and let her come in.

    I pointed the way with my extended hand. Down the hall at the end. I closed the door, then followed Bernice down the hall. "Right across from Lindsay's room," I said.

    Brad was sitting up against the headboard when we entered the bedroom. His bandage and the waistband of his underwear peeked out from under the sheets. There were two clicks an the legs of the tray dropped down into place. Bernice approached the side of the bed and placed the tray over Brad's legs. I stood back and waited.

    "Good morning, Bradley," she said and bent down to give him a kiss.

    "Hi, Mom."

    "Did you sleep okay?"

    "I slept fine, Mom."

    She smiled at him. "Did you take your pill last night?" Brad nodded. "What about this morning?"

    "I just woke up."

    "First things first, then. Where are they?" she asked, looking around.

    "On the table," I offered.

    She found them, popped off the top and dropped an antibiotic into her hand. She closed the lid after visually counting the remaining pills and set it back. "Open," she said as she picked up the pill. Brad already had a glass of orange juice in his hand. He opened his mouth and she popped the pill on his tongue. Brad washed it down with a good gulp of the juice. He set the glass on the tray.

    Bernice slid down on the bed a bit, called my name, then patted the space beside Brad with her hand. I sad down as instructed. She looked at us both, and then at Brad. "Bradley? Your Dad saw you and Ted last night."

    "We know," Brad answered.

    "Are you happy, dear?" she asked.

    Brad looked at me and smiled, then he turned back to his Mother. "Yes, Mom. I am."

    Bernice looked at me and I nodded my answer. To Brad, she asked, "Is this what you really want, Bradley?"

    Brad was quiet for a moment. "I'm not sure yet, Mom. All I know is that I'm very happy."

    She patted his thigh twice. "That's good enough for us, then. Now, eat your breakfast. When you're done, change your underwear. I'll pick it up when I come to get the tray, and I'll bring you some clean ones for tomorrow. Would you like me to bring some clothes for you, too?"

    "We're not going anywhere," I said.

    "Okay. I'll bring some anyway, just in case you decide to go for a ride or something." She put her hand on my leg for balance and leaned forward to give Brad his kiss. She surprised me by giving me one as well. She stood up to leave.

    "Mom?"

    She turned back.

    "I love you."

    "I love you, too, Bradley." To me, she said, "I'll come back in an hour to get the tray. Would you like me to bring some lunch as well?"

    "I think I can handle lunch."

    "Okay," she said. With one final, stern look at Brad, she said, "Now, you be a good boy and eat all your breakfast. I'll be bringing your toothbrush back with me. Make sure you use it." And to me, she added, "And you make sure he doesn't just run it under the water and make it wet."

    She left the room. I looked at Brad and he looked at me. Together, we smiled and said, "Mothers."

    As we were munching on breakfast - which was delicious, by the way - Brad asked, "Are your parents still alive?"

    "Yup," I answered. "They live in Crystal Beach."

    "Where's that?"

    "Near St. Catherines."

    "Never been there. Never been to Niagara Falls, either."

    "Well, we'll have to fix that. Lindsay loves it there. When you're up to it, we can all go for a weekend."

    "Oh," Brad said, putting his piece of toast back on the plate.

    "‘Oh' what?" I asked.

    "Nothing."

    I'm not dumb. It knew it was ‘something'.

    "Brad?" My voice told him he'd better talk or else.

    He shrugged one shoulder, but wouldn't look away from the plate. "Well, Niagara Falls is one of the most romantic places in the world. I wanted to go there with you." He paused. "Alone." Only then would he look at me.

    "Okay," I said. "We will. Just you and me."

    And then he smiled. I was happy to see his chipped tooth again.

    * * * * *

    We were in the livingroom watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off on DVD when Bernice came back for the tray. I hoped Cameron could hold his breath, because I hit the ‘pause' button when he was sitting on the bottom of the swimming pool. I'd washed all the dishes for Bernice and Brad's underwear was rolled up in a plastic baggie. As promised, she brought Brad's toothbrush along with three pairs of shorts, three T-shirts, and three sets of socks and underwear.

    "I'm not moving in, Mom," Brad complained. His mother was sitting on the sofa beside him.

    "They'll be here in case you need them. You can leave them here and you don't have to come running home all the time to change."

    "I'll be coming home again, Mom."

    Bernice pinched his cheek. "Children grow up and leave home. It's the law." Brad gave his Mother a big hug and a big, wet, smacking kiss on the cheek.

    * * * * *

    Matthew Broderick had told us, "It's over! Go home!" Well, we were already home, so we went to the bathroom instead so Brad could brush his teeth and give himself a wash.

    "I'll be glad when I can take a shower again. Washing in the sink like this sucks."

    "When will that be?"

    "I have an appointment with the doctor on Tuesday afternoon at three."

    "How are you getting there?"

    "Dad will take the time off from work. Mom doesn't drive."

    I accepted that, but I couldn't accept what I was seeing without getting an answer to my question. "How can you be so shy and still stand there washing your balls with me right beside you?"

    He looked down at himself, as if suddenly realizing what he was doing. He looked at me then, and I could see him considering it as if he'd never even thought about it.

    "I don't know," he said. "I've never even thought about it before."

    Gee-sus, Murphy, I'm good!

    "I mean," he continued, "this seems right somehow. I don't feel shy around you. It's not like I'm showing off or anything. It just seems. . . right. Natural. Why, is it wrong? I'll stop if it is."

    "No," I hastened to respond. "It's just surprising, that's all."

    "You're different, Ted," he said. "I mean, I'm standing here in front of you and I'm stark naked and you're looking me in the eyes."

    I looked down.

    "See?" he said. I looked back up. "I had to remind you. That's why I feel so comfortable around you. You see me, not just my dick."

    "Isn't that what I said to you last night? You thought I didn't love you anymore because I didn't look at it."

    Brad looked off into space somewhere for a moment. "I hope I can figure all this out soon. My brain's getting a stomach ache."

    * * * * *

    Brad stayed with me the entire weekend and it was great. We made tentative plans for the next weekend to go to Toronto to drop off his books at Ryerson, pop in to see Warren and Bill, then hit the Science Centre in the afternoon. As long as Brad felt up to it then. I felt sad when I walked him home Monday morning before I left for work.

    He kissed me before we left my house to go to his. Bernice met us at the door. Brad pulled me inside so he could kiss me again. "All the good days you've given me don't add up to this weekend, Ted."

    "It was pretty good, wasn't it?"

    "You don't even know, do you?"

    I thought. Nothing. "No. What don't I know?"

    "You didn't go out to the wall for two whole days."

    I thought again. "You're right." I pulled the package of cigarettes from my pocket. I looked at it, then held it out to Bernice. She took it. "Would you toss these for me, please?"

    She took the package with an anxious smile. "I'd be happy to, Ted."

    "I'll see you after work," Brad said.

    "I'm meeting Jacob for dinner. I don't know when I'll be home."

    "I can wait for you."

    "Bradley Nelson Hayes!" Yup. Mom again, and she was ticked. "You just spent the weekend over there. Don't be a pest and give the poor man a rest."

    Brad gave me the saddest look when he looked back at me. "Am I really becoming a pest?"

    "Not at all. Put the coffee on for me."

    His smile returned and he kissed me once more.

    "I've got to go," I said. So I did. I felt good as I walked to the car. Brad had spent the whole weekend with me and I had spent most of the weekend without a cigarette dangling out of my mouth. I didn't miss the cigarettes. But I missed Brad already.

    * * * * *

    Okay, how do I put this in words? I'm not sure. My entire life had changed this past little while. It was a life I never imagined. My weekend with Brad was sort of a ‘test run'. And it had worked. Was I gay? I still don't know to this day. I don't even know what it means to be gay. I thought I did, but I don't. I mean, Warren said it all. Love doesn't look at gender. So, why should we stick a label on it when it happens?

    All I know is that I was head-over-heals in love with Brad. But, the stupid thing was, we spent all that time together and the thought of sex hardly ever came up. That was strange, at least to me.

    You see, I've always acquainted love with sex. Love - sex. Sex - love. They went together. They belonged together. But Brad brought out deep, deep feelings from inside me that I'd never felt before. Brad was important to me. Not as important as Lindsay. No-one could ever stand higher than her. But Brad was far more important than anyone else, and all those girls and ladies I'd dated when I was younger - the ones I had thought I was in love with - were never as important as Brad.

    Maybe Warren was right about me. Maybe I had always been so deep in the closet that I didn't even know I was in there. Maybe this was what my life was meant to be. Maybe Brad was meant to open the door and show me the way.

    I knew what guys did together. I may have been in the closet, but I didn't live under a rock. I knew all about sucking cocks and fucking asses and all that stuff. With Brad, that didn't really scare me. What really scared me, though, was what it would do to me.

    I mean, Brad's big. Really big. The thought of getting fucked up the ass didn't scare me. The though of getting fucked by Brad scared the living hell out of me. And the thought of trying to cram that thing in my mouth. . .

    You know? That bothered me for the longest time, thinking that way. And I finally figured it out when I remembered a dream I had a long time ago. Brad and I were together in my dream and we were naked and in bed. I'd already fucked him, but when he tried to fuck me, he didn't even get the head inside me before I was screaming to take it back out. He'd cried in my dream, but it didn't click until I remembered it. He'd turned away from me when he cried. He wouldn't let me see him. I couldn't touch him, either, to comfort him and apologize to him. I mean, I reached out to touch him, but there was this wall around him and I couldn't. It didn't click until I realized I was the one holding the mortar and trowel. I was the one who had built the wall around him.

    I wasn't frightened for myself as much as I was frightened for Brad. How would he feel if that really happened? How would he feel if he felt like he was some mutant monster who went around hurting people and they built walls around him to protect themselves from him? How would he feel when the man he loved wouldn't allow him to do it?"

    Sex was supposed to be fun. . . pleasurable. How could Brad ever have sex if he caused so much pain? He wouldn't. He'd resigned himself to his own hand and his own lips and that was going to be his sex life.

    If I really loved him, could I allow that to happen to him?

    Gee-sus, Murphy, Ted de Villiers. You're up to your ass in it now. Literally!

    To Be Continued

  35. #135
    HA! ;-)
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Man! I've got to give Bernice, and John, a HUGE !!

    Brad and Ted get !!!

    And, YOU, Neil ... well ... "We" don't seem to have a big enough Smilie for it!!! :thewave:

    So ... I had to use ALL those!!!

    Keep smiln'!!
    Chaz
    WISDOM is the Knowledge you've gained ... After you could have used it! _Me

  36. #136
    biKCboy
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Ted better go get some dildoes, and in his spare time, work his way up to the big one and get used to it

    If you plan on parking the H1 Hummer in the garage, you either have to make some space, or build a bigger building.

  37. #137
    I spell spelled spelt
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by biKCboy
    If you plan on parking the H1 Hummer in the garage, you either have to make some space, or build a bigger building.
    Man! What a line! I wish I had thought of it!

  38. #138
    biKCboy
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by gsdx
    Man! What a line! I wish I had thought of it!

    I won't sue you for copyright, you're welcome to use it. lol.

    The story is very captivating. Always a good read.

  39. #139
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Quote Originally Posted by biKCboy
    I won't sue you for copyright, you're welcome to use it. lol.
    You probably won't believe this, but this line comes at the perfect moment. I'm at the exact spot where it will fit in perfectly. I'll write it in now. Watch for it in Chapter 18.

    Thanks.

  40. #140
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Neil, what a great guy you are, & what a stupendous story.
    You hinted at things to come & said the tale has a life of it's own.
    This is surely what happens with all the very best stories & authors.
    Not everything works out in life as we want it to, I wonder where this is leading,
    can't wait for the next chapter.
    Take care of yourself
    Peace & Love
    Harry XX

  41. #141
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Neil,

    It just keeps getting better! Thanks again for a great story and can't wait to see what happens.

  42. #142
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Amazing story, I really cant wait to read more.

    Thank you for writing this and sharing it with us!

  43. #143
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    Re: Watching Brad

    (Due to my ‘dealing with it' post from this morning, I would like you to know that this chapter is not changed. I didn't rewrite it, nor do I intend to rewrite the following chapters. This is how I wrote it originally, despite the opening paragraph which may indicate otherwise. - Neil)

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part XV

    Okay. I've been honest with you up to now. I've told you everything worth knowing about me and Brad. I've left out all the boring bits and the stuff that doesn't matter, but I've told you everything else. So, at this point, I should tell you about ‘my little secret'. But I won't. I almost did. I mean, I had it all written down and I decided I'd keep it a surprise, so I rubbed it all out and started writing again. Brad didn't even know about it yet at this time, so I don't think it's fair that you should know before he did. But don't worry. The minute I tell him, you'll know, too.

    Hey. What can I say, eh? Some days life just shits on you, and this is one of those days. Get over it.

    Now, where were we? Oh, yes. Jacob, Brad and his stitches, Ryerson, Science Centre. Right. Okay. Here we go.

    Jacob blew me away. I don't know how he found all the babysitters. I didn't ask. All I know is that he found them and interviewed most of them and had a list of all those who would be willing to testify at the custody hearing, or, at the very least, would supply the necessary notarized statements.

    Lindsay had only three sitters with me: a young lady named Lisa, who adored Lindsay but had married and moved to Vancouver, and Mrs. ‘Goodyear Grinch/Gulch' Grange. Understandably, old Lard Ass refused an interview. (Or, maybe Jacob refused to interview her, I don't know.) But Lisa was willing to fly to Ontario if I helped with plane fare in order for her to testify in my defense. She couldn't afford it on her own. And now, there was Terry.

    (As it turned out, I called my lawyer the next morning. He assured me notarized statements would suffice, but the more I could get, the better. It's doubtful the Judge would read them all, but the stack would be impressive. Jacob would get as many as he could get, including Lisa's.)

    I'd lost count of all the sitters The Bitch had hired. Most of them had quit. The others were fired. Jacob had stopped at a dozen, but he said there were others on the list if I needed them. He showed me a photo album of all the men The Bitch had been seeing. The list was almost as long as the babysitter list.

    Jacob gave me a list of his expenses. It was pitifully small. "Sorry, Jacob," I said. "Two hundred dollar minimum." I wrote him a cheque right in the restaurant and he gave me a receipt listing his expenses. It was worth every single penny.

    * * * * *

    It was pissing down rain when we left the restaurant. By the time I got home, I was soaked to the skin. Just running from the restaurant to my car and from my car to my house. Man! It was pissin' rain! Crack out the ark, boys!

    Brad was waiting for me and the coffee was on. "Freeze right there, Mister!" he said and told me I wasn't going to be tracking all that water though the house.

    "It's my house. I can piss on the floor if I want."

    "Not while I'm here," he said. "Now, get them off."

    I did my best soggy St. Bernard imitation and shook myself. Water droplets flew everywhere and then, with my best Lindsay imitation, I stuck my tongue out at him.

    "Gee-sus, Murphy, Ted," he said with mock chagrin. "Is it always so hard to get you out of your clothes? Man!"

    I started laughing. I couldn't help it. And Brad laughed right along with me. "I'll get your robe for you," he said as he laughed.

    I was unbuttoning my shirt when he left. By the time he got back, I was taking off my pants. Brad had brought back a towel as well.

    "Do suit pants shrink?" he asked.

    "I don't know," I answered, "but these ones keep getting tighter around the waist every day."

    "Timbit tummy," Brad said with a grin and a wink.

    Yeah. Guess I'd better lay off them for awhile, especially since I wasn't sucking back on cigarettes anymore. Quitting smoking can make you go blimpo in no time at all.

    So, there I was, down to my underwear. Even they were soggy. Brad was still standing there, watching me, looking down. He wasn't laughing anymore. I reached for my robe.

    "Take them off," Brad said quietly, his eyes travelling up to meet mine. "I've never seen you naked," he said. "I'd like to see you naked." He waited, and so did I. "Please?"

    How could I resist those beautiful, green eyes? How could I resist that beautiful face? His lips parted slightly and there was that chipped tooth. I melted.

    I was a little self-conscious about standing there naked in front of him. Not really shy, just self- conscious. Brad had a body. I just had a body. It held my guts together, that's all. Nothing to look at as far as I was concerned. But, Brad wanted to see what he was getting into. I had seen him starkers and it was only fair that he should see me, too. I was taking a big chance. This could end our relationship right here and now. I might end up with another puddle of puke on the floor. Well, better now than later when ‘letting go' would be a lot tougher to do.

    I hooked my thumbs into the waistband and pushed, stepping out of them when they hit the floor. I stood up and waited. Brad's eyes started at my face and travelled slowly down. He reached my crotch and he stopped. And then he turned away and hung his head.

    "I'm getting hard, Ted," he said. "It hurts when I get hard."

    I could see his shoulders rising and falling as he controlled himself. I grabbed the towel, gave myself a quick wipe, then slipped into my robe, wrapping the towel around my neck to dry my hair. Brad set about preparing two mugs of coffee. I grabbed up my clothes and took them into the dining room, laying them over the chair backs to dry. I was towelling my hair dry when I went to join Brad.

    Brad moved in and settled himself beside me. I set the towel aside and wrapped my arm around his shoulder and he settled in closer.

    "What if it doesn't work, Ted?"

    Okay, I was lost again.

    "The sex, I mean. What if we try it and we can't do it?"

    "Does that scare you?"

    Brad pulled away and turned to look at me. "No. Not me," he said. "But it scares me when I think about you."

    "Me? Why?"

    "I don't want to hurt you. Ever."

    I gave him my best smile, despite the serious look on his face. "I know you'd never hurt me."

    He shook his head so slightly I barely saw it move. "You're wrong, Ted. I will. I've been thinking about this for awhile now. I think about the things we can do together, and I think of all the things I want to do for you and of all the things I want you to do for me. You don't scare me, Ted. I scare myself."

    "I'm not sure I understand." I really didn't. I had an idea, but I wasn't certain.

    He looked down at the floor and it looked like he was trying to find the words he needed to say hidden in the carpet. I let him search on his own. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. He didn't look at me, though. "I'm like any other guy my age. I think about having sex sometimes. I know what two guys do together, and I want to do them with you." And then he looked at me. "But it scares me, Ted. It scares me that I'll hurt you, and I know I will. I'm too big to do all the things I want to do without hurting you." He paused, then whispered, "You know it, too."

    I smiled at him again and brushed my hand through his hair. He watched my eyes and I put as much honesty and sincerity in them as I could. "You're too young to know this, Brad. This is all new to you, but you'll understand one day. That's all part of what being in love is all about. You do things not because you have to, but because you want to. It scares the hell out of me, too. It terrifies me, in fact, when I think of what it would be like."

    Brad leaned back and turned all sad on me again. I pulled my hand away. I sensed that he needed me not to be touching him.

    "It terrifies me, but love isn't all warm kisses and happy, good feelings. There's pain, too. It comes with the job. But there's two different kinds of pain."

    It was Brad's turn to be confused. I can't blame him. I was confused, too.

    "There's the pain you don't want to feel, like when someone hits you, or betrays you. That kind of pain stays with you forever. You never forget it. But there's another kind of pain that you don't mind, and it doesn't last forever. That's the kind of pain that you want because you love someone. It's the kind of pain that hurts the other person just as much. Maybe not physically, but in here." I tapped my fingertips against my chest. "I know the kind of ‘hurt' you mean, Brad. And, believe me, it would hurt you as much as it would hurt me. But it's the kind of hurt that doesn't last. It goes away and the good feelings come in to take its place. Do you understand?"

    "I'm not sure," Brad answered quietly. "I think so."

    "If it happens. . . when it happens. . . you'll understand better."

    Brad looked at the carpet again and shook his head. "This love thing is really confusing. It doesn't make sense."

    "No, it doesn't Brad. I'm still trying to figure it out myself."

    Brad looked at me then. "Maybe some things are meant not to be figured out." And then he settled into me again and I put my arm around him again. "I like it here," he said. "It makes me feel good when you hold me like this."

    I've spent my life holding people, just as I was holding Brad. No-one had ever held me like that. It suddenly dawned on me that I had no idea how it felt.

    * * * * *

    Brad walked taller after he got his stitches taken out. He was waiting for me when I got home Tuesday night after work. He was doing his best to cook dinner for me. Poor kid. He didn't know which end of the spatula to hold and my kitchen was a mess, but I didn't care. To this day I can't figure out how he messed up my kitchen so much when all he did was to bake frozen fish and chips in the oven.

    But, it made him feel good, and his smiles were genuine, and he promised me that his stomach didn't hurt much anymore. Mostly, it had been the stitches pulling every time he moved. I've never had stitches, so I don't know what that's about.

    Anyway, the fish and chips weren't still frozen when we ate them, and they didn't kill me, so I guess he did a good enough job after all.

    "The doctor said I shouldn't do any painting for at least another week. Is that okay?"

    "That's fine," I said. "I'm getting used to ‘sell-the-house' beige."

    He laughed. "See?" he said. "I can laugh now without all that ow ow ow." He took another bite of fish. "Mom's going to teach me how to cook."

    "Why?"

    He shrugged. "I don't know," he said. "I think I should be doing something else around here besides eating all your food and looking pretty." He stopped with his fork half-way to his mouth. "I do look pretty, don't I?"

    I nodded and chewed. "Very pretty indeed, Brad." (Nothing like a little ego-stroking, eh?)

    "Good answer," he said. "Too bad you aren't." (Nothing like a whole lot of ego-deflation!)

    "I beg your pardon!?" I said as I sat back in my chair.

    "You're not pretty. You're handsome. I don't like pretty. I like handsome." He took one more bite. "You're sexy, too."

    "Now I know you're lying."

    Brad stopped eating and focused his attention on me. "No, I'm not, Ted. I've been thinking about what you told me. The outside is nice enough, but I've started looking at the inside, too. When you put them together, you're a very sexy guy."

    "I'm hardly anyone's Prince Charming."

    "You're mine."

    I sat back again, staring at him. "Bradley Nelson Hayes," I said. "What in hell has got into you?"

    "I'm feeling good, Ted. I got my stitches out today and I'm feeling good. I feel good about myself and I feel good about us. For the first time in my life, I'm in love, and I like it."

    And then he looked at me. I don't know what he saw in my face. I don't know what was there, either. He just stared at me and then he said, "What?"

    I blinked. "Well, for the first time in my life, I'm in love, too."

    "You mean with another guy?"

    "No, Brad. I mean ‘in love'. For real. For the first time."

    It was Brad's turn to sit back. He did. A potato wedge was stuck on the end of his fork. He stared into my eyes again. "Gee-sus, Murphy, Ted," he whispered. "You're telling me the truth!"

    "Yes, I am."

    "But you were married. You had other girlfriends."

    "And I loved them. But not like this."

    Brad just shook his head. "I don't understand."

    "Frankly, Brad," I said sincerely, "I don't understand it either. Just trust me."

    * * * * *

    Brad spent the night, of course. And the next night, and the next night as well. We still wore underwear to bed, though. Brad wanted to sleep naked, but he thought it was best, at least until his surgery had healed completely, so he keep everything tucked inside. Besides, his doctor had warned him against ‘any sexual release' until he could get an erection without any pain. He told me I could take mine off, but I thought it best that I didn't.

    Maybe it was a throwback to The Bitch. She didn't like having a naked body in bed with her. At least not mine. Sometimes I think she'd have preferred me to be dressed in full hockey kit (without the skates, of course, but with a helmet and full, flip-down mask so she wouldn't have to kiss me) when we made love. So, I kept my underwear on as well. They weren't tightie- whities anymore, though. Brad and I had been out shopping one evening after I'd been soaked to the skin and he went to buy some new underwear for himself. He told me I should wear the same kind.

    "I'd look a proper git in those," I told him.

    "I think you'd look cute."

    I bought five packages with three pairs in each box. No Fruit of the Looms protecting my family jewels anymore, but I didn't throw them away until I got used to not fishing myself out of the slit to take a leak.

    So, there we were, lying in bed as usual. Brad was lying on his side, teasing the hair on my chest with his fingertip. The lamp on the bedside table was lit.

    "I wish I had more hair like you."

    "You can have it if you want," I told him. "I hate it."

    "Why? I think it looks neat." He twirled some more. "Feels neat, too." He flattened his hand against my chest and began rubbing in big, slow circles. "Yup. Feels really neat."

    He kept it up until I couldn't take it anymore. I grabbed his hand in mid-swirl. "Brad, I think you should stop."

    He looked up at me from my shoulder. "Why?" he asked.

    "I. . . um. . . please, just stop."

    His arm started moving lower. I tried to stop it.

    "I'm stronger than you are, Ted," he said seriously. "You can't stop me."

    His hand continued lower until it slid under the sheets. "Brad, you don't have to do this!" I whispered anxiously.

    I tried to stop him. I really tried. But Brad was right. He was stronger than I and he didn't stop until his hand was lying right on my crotch. I already had a hardon. It had started when he was teasing me with one finger. I still had hold of his arm when his fingers closed around me.

    I let out a long, breathy ‘Ahhh' when he did that. I closed my eyes to it and concentrated on the feelings I was experiencing. Brad's voice came to my ear.

    "Please don't ask me to stop, Ted. I need to see if I can do this."

    He was waiting for an answer. I knew I should stop him, but I didn't want him to. It had been so long since anyone had touched me there. I was still trying to decide when Brad said in a hushed voice, "Did you hear me?"

    "Yes," I whispered back. And then I took my hand away from his arm and put it on the bed beside me.

    Brad's hand lifted and moved, settling back on my panting belly, then sliding beneath the waistband of my underwear. His fingers found me again and wrapped around me again. I tensed, pushing my hips up into his hand. I didn't mean to. I just happened all on its own. I think I let out another sigh.

    His hand began to stroke me, and then he pulled his hand away as he rose up on his elbow. He pushed the sheets down first, and then hooked his thumb into my briefs on one side and pushed down. He lifted the underwear up and over my cock and pushed down the other side. Back and forth until the cotton was around my thighs.

    I was afraid to open my eyes. Afraid that I might stop him if I saw what he was doing. I clenched them tighter. Brad's hand wrapped around me once more and began stroking gently and tenderly. His upper body moved lower until I could feel his breath caressing me. I brought my hand to my eyes and held them closed. My jaws clenched and my teeth ground against each other.

    And then I felt a touch. Warm, wet. It was Brad's tongue. It didn't last long. Just an exploration - a taste. I felt it again, longer this time. His tongue began to move lightly over the taut skin of my cockhead. I let a small grunt escape from my throat. The tongue continued to swirl, pressing harder with each moment that passed.

    Something else was there. Lips. I felt Brad's tongue retract into his mouth. The lips parted and began to slide down. Slowly they went, exploring along the way, testing new territory. It seemed to take forever, but then Brad stopped moving. His lips were locked around the rim of my cockhead. He didn't go any further than that. I didn't care. I tensed once more and let out a long, loud moan of pleasure.

    My hand moved from my eyes to the back of Brad's head, gently stroking the hair it found. I kept my eyes closed, but, in my mind, I could see Brad, his head on my stomach, my cock inside him. I could see his head rising and falling with every breath I took. I could see it all.

    His tongue returned and it began to work on me. I remembered watching when Brad had teased himself. I knew what it looked like, and I imagined it looking exactly the same, except that it was my cock he was teasing, and it was my cock that was in his mouth. He sucked the air out of his mouth, his cheeks closing around me, and I could feel myself swelling. Another moan escaped.

    Brad didn't move his head. He just lay there, sucking and teasing. Maybe it was just because it was Brad, or maybe it was because it had been years since my cock had felt anything other than my own hand, but my balls started rolling only minutes later. I knew the tell-tale signs and I warned Brad.

    "I'm going to cum." It was more of a groan, I suppose.

    Brad still didn't move. The electricity sparked faster, and I knew the moment was very near. "Brad, I'm cumming!"

    The first shot went into his mouth. Only then did he pull away, releasing my cockhead and rising onto his elbow again. His hand began stroking, coaxing the rest of my orgasm to happen. The magic I had witnessed as Brad had jerked himself was happening again - with me.

    I continued to spew my semen onto my stomach. I heard grunts and moans filling the bedroom. The grunts were mine. The moans were Brad's. It was one of the most exciting moments in my life, and I lay there enjoying it, burning every stroke and spasm and spurt into my memory so I'd never forget them.

    It was over too soon. Much too soon for my liking, but all good things must come to an end. If nothing else happened between us, Brad had left me with fireworks going off in my mind.

    Brad continued to stroke slowly and gently until my cock was soft. My chest was heaving and my body was still squirming. He released it and moved his hand to my stomach, circling it and rubbing the cream into the skin. I opened my eyes and found Brad's face. He was looking at me. His mouth was open and I could see my semen on his tongue. He closed his lips and swallowed He had kept it there all that time. And then he smiled at me.

    He settled back onto my shoulder, his cum-slick hand now rubbing my chest. I knew I was a sticky, stinky mess, but I didn't care. Brad seemed comfortable with it, so I was, too.

    It took awhile for my breathing to return to normal. Brad was okay with waiting.

    "Brad?"

    "Hmm?"

    "Thank you."

    I could feel Brad nodding his head on my shoulder. "It was right for me, Ted."

    I turned my head and kissed his forehead. It was the only place I could reach. "I want it to be right for me, too, Brad," I said as my hand sought his own cock. I found it easily enough. It was rock-solid, trapped against his stomach. I wrapped my fingers around it and sighed when I did so. It felt better than I had ever imagined it would. Brad sighed, too. I began to stroke.

    I felt his body jerk. "Stop!"

    I pulled my hand away.

    "Sorry, Ted," Brad said as he looked at me. "It hurts when you stroke it. You can hold it if you want, but don't stroke it. I can't cum yet."

    "I don't want to hurt you, Brad," I said, deeply concerned.

    "It doesn't hurt if you just hold it. That's if you want to."

    My hand moved back into place. Brad settled against me again, twisting his body slightly so I could hold him more easily. Brad didn't cum that night, but I swore to myself that his first orgasm, when he was able to have it, would be by my hand. No. Not my hand. Something better. And suddenly I felt like a five-year-old boy waiting for Christmas Day so I could see what was in the big, red and green box with the yellow ribbons wrapped around it.

    I wasn't holding him anymore when I woke up, but the light was still on.

    * * * * *

    Brad had already decided that he wouldn't stay overnight while Lindsay was in the house, but he went with me when I drove to pick her up. He waited in the car, of course. I felt good. I bounced as I walked and I found myself whistling in the elevator as I rode it up to the eighth floor. I even skipped twice as I walked down the hall toward The Bitch's door.

    The Bitch could do what she wanted tonight. I was in too good a mood for her to spoil it. "Give me your best shot," I said to myself.

    I knocked on the door. I could hear Lindsay's footsteps running to the door. I squatted down to greet her. She pulled it open.

    She was crying, and she jumped into my arms. "Lindsay, Sweetheart," I said, trying to comfort her. "What's wrong?" Her cheek was plastered against my chest and she held onto me for dear life. I stood up and clutched her to me for my own dear life.

    "Please don't bring me back here, Daddy," she begged. Probably another little tiff with The Bitch. I took her right arm in my left.

    "Ow! Daddy! Don't!"

    I let go immediately. "Lindsay!? What's wrong!? What happened" The Bitch showed up in the doorway, holding Lindsay's overnight bag in her hand.

    I gently grasped Lindsay's arm again, closer to her elbow, and held it up so I could see.

    I saw.

    My eyes turned to The Bitch. My eyes burned right through her. I was not polite this time. I was furious and I was ready to kill her. I screamed. "What in hell did you do to my daughter!!??"

    To Be Continued

  44. #144
    biKCboy
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    Re: Watching Brad

    :Alright, I'm finished. Please post the next chapter
    hehe

  45. #145
    Porn Star pkacrotjs's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    wowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwo wOwowOwowO
    wowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwo wOwowOwowO
    wowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwowOwo wOwowOwowO

    k, i'm dumbstruck, can you tell? I understand your reasons, but it's almost painful waiting for the next installment. Again, please accept my (our!) thanks for sharing.

  46. #146
    Gay and Deaf! DeafFoxDemon's Avatar
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    Re: Watching Brad

    i love it!! what did the bitch do?

  47. #147
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    Re: Watching Brad

    Oh my lord, Neil, as I have said before, this story really is about life. The distinctions between each type of love you portray are of such clarity they draw me in as if I were truly a part of the story.

    As Warren has said, love should know no gender, nor should it lack having the many facets you have shown. Your timing of bring in the sexuality of their relationship has been perfect. It is like gayemtinpa said, "It is what any couple or person could hope for, true love!!!!!!"

    Craiger

    By the way, you just made me a SEX GOD. Thanks!

  48. #148
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    Re: Watching Brad

    This is just great. I agree with all that has been previously stated.

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    Re: Watching Brad

    I hardly ever post, but I can't help but thank you for this beautiful story. I've got this thread bookmarked, and I'm constantly checking it to see if you've updated.

    You have a beautiful gift with story-telling. Thanks for letting me read...

  50. #150
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    Re: Watching Brad

    WATCHING BRAD
    Part XVI

    The Bitch just stood there looking at me. I was dumbfounded. I let go of Lindsay's arm and wrapped my arm protectively around her, holding her as close as I dared. "What did you do!!??" I screamed again.

    "The little brat got into my make-up."

    I exploded. I did something I had sworn I would never do in front of Lindsay. "You. . . fuckin'. . . bitch!!!" I could hear doors opening down the hall, but I didn't give a shit. "If you ever touch my daughter again, I'll. . .!!!"

    Somehow I managed to stop myself.

    The Bitch tilted her head, smirked, and put her hand on her hip. "You'll ‘what'?"

    I calmed my voice down, but it was as threatening as I could make it. "You know damned well what I'll do!" I bent down, grabbed the overnight case, and yanked it out of The Bitch's hand.

    "Hey! You almost broke my nail!"

    "You're just lucky that's the only thing I almost broke!!"

    I turned and ran down the hall toward the elevators. People disappeared inside their doors, closing them behind them. I reached the elevator and pressed the button with my elbow.

    "Come on! Come on!" I said, waiting. I was panting and my heart was pounding in my chest. "Come On!" I screamed again. I didn't look back, but I knew The Bitch was standing in the hallway looking at me. Probably with that stupid-assed grin on her face, too.

    The doors opened finally. I jumped inside. Lindsay was still holding me, still crying. I set down the case and hit the ‘Lobby' button. I counted down the numbers as I grabbed up the case again. They were going too damned slow. I took several deep breaths, preparing myself for the next sprint. Finally, the doors opened and I was gone.

    Brad must have seen me, and he must have seen the panic in my face. He was out of the car before I reached the lobby doors. I threw the case to him. He caught it. "Ted?"

    My hand searched for my car keys as Brad tossed the bag into the back seat of the car.

    "Where in hell are my Goddamned keys!?"

    "They're in the car," Brad said. "Ted, what's wrong?"

    "I don't know yet. Can you drive?"

    "Yes."

    "Get us to the hospital."

    "Oh, God," Brad said and sprinted around the car to the other side.

    I knew I was breaking the law by holding Lindsay in my lap, but fuck it. I wasn't letting go of my baby.

    Brad got behind the wheel, his shaking hands reaching for the key.

    "Easy, Brad. Take a deep breath. Don't kill us before we get there."

    Brad took a deep breath, turned the key, and drove off into the traffic. I was talking to the Emergency Room receptionist when Brad came in after parking the car and locking the doors. When I finished with the nurse, I went to find a seat. Lindsay still hadn't said a word, and she still hadn't let go of me. She was still sobbing.

    Brad took a seat beside me and held out the keys.

    "You keep ‘em. Take the car home. I'll catch a cab later when we're finished here."

    Brad just looked at me. "You're nuts if you think I'm going anywhere." He shoved the keys into the pocket of my jeans. He brushed Lindsay's hair with his hand, then said, "I'll be right back." He stood and walked to the pay telephones.

    My attention turned to Lindsay. "Sweetheart?" I whispered. "Are you okay?" She nodded her head, but she didn't speak. I hugged her and kissed her hair. "Everything will be okay, Sweetheart. I promise."

    I felt her voice more than I heard it. "Daddy?"

    "Yes, Sweetheart?"

    "I love you, Daddy."

    "I love you, too, Lindsay."

    Brad came back. "How is she?" he asked softly as he sat in the chair.

    "Scared, mostly."

    "What happened?"

    I grabbed Brad's arm, just below the wrist, and squeezed hard.

    "Oh, God," he said.

    "I want this documented."

    We weren't classified as a real emergency, so we had to wait. John and Bernice showed up. Bernice rushed forward and Brad stood up so his Mother could sit down. "Oh, you poor dear," she said, rubbing Lindsay's back and shoulders.

    "Hi, Grandma," Lindsay said weakly.

    "What happened?" Bernice asked. I indicated her right arm with a glance. Bernice stood and looked over Lindsay, dropping back into her seat with a bit of an astonished thump. I could see the question in her eyes. She didn't have to ask. I just nodded.

    "Ted," she said, putting her hand on my arm. "You can't let her go back there."

    "I know." I hugged Lindsay just a little bit tighter.

    It was another fifteen minutes before the nurse finally motioned to me. I stood up and Bernice said, "We'll wait here for you."

    I nodded and followed the nurse to the examination room. The nurse looked young. "I'm Dr. van Horne," she said. "Could you put her here, please?" she asked, indicating the long, narrow gurney.

    I set Lindsay onto the bed. She was reluctant even then to let me go. "Don't go, Daddy," she begged, starting to cry all over again.

    I glanced at the doctor. She nodded. "I'm staying right here, Sweetheart. I'll be right beside you. The doctor has to look at your arm now, okay?"

    Lindsay stopped crying. "Okay, Daddy."

    I stepped back to let the doctor work, but stayed close enough to Lindsay so she would know I wasn't going to leave her.

    The doctor was efficient and more careful than some doctors I've seen. She examined Lindsay's arm visually, then with her fingers. When she pressed her thumb directly onto the bruise, Lindsay winced and jerked her arm. "Ow!"

    "I don't think it's broken, but we'll get X-rays to be sure. Lindsay? Can you tell me what happened?"

    Lindsay looked up at me. "Please tell me, Sweetheart. We have to know." When she hesitated, I said, "You won't get into trouble. I promise."

    "I was just looking, Daddy. I wasn't touching it."

    "The make-up case?"

    She nodded.

    "What happened?"

    "Mommy saw me."

    "Ex-wife," I said to the doctor.

    "She grabbed my arm and jerked me. I fell down and she pulled me up. That's when my arm hurt. Then she took me to the livingroom and she spanked me."

    I caught the doctor's gaze and nodded. I looked back at Lindsay. "We have to look, okay, Sweetheart? I'll stay right here with you. I promise."

    "Okay, Daddy."

    I picked her up gingerly and stood her on the bed. I held her by my left arm as I lifted her skirt with my right hand. The doctor gently pulled down her panties. I almost broke a tooth, I was clenching them so tightly.

    I had to hand it to The Bitch. She knew where to spank Lindsay so she could still make her sit in the corner. The little cheeks of her bum were still pink, but it was up, closer to back, where most of the real spanking had been done.

    The doctor moved in closer, then raised a single index finger and tenderly touched two spots on Lindsay's behind. "What are these?" she asked. I leaned in for a closer look. The skins was still scarlet pink, and bruises were beginning to form, but the doctor was still pointing at a small, rectangular mark which left a definite welt and a few tiny scratches.

    I leaned back and let go of Lindsay's skirt. The nurse took over for me. I placed my hands gently on Lindsay's arms. My voice was as calm as I could make it. "Sweetheart, what did Mommy use to spank you?"

    Lindsay looked like she was about to cry again. "Her hand," she said weakly, and she looked away from me.

    I put my fingers to her chin and turned her face to me. "Look at me, Sweetheart." Her eyes found mine. I moved my hand to her cheek. "Mommy used something else. What was it?"

    Lindsay hesitated. "Mommy said she would spank me again if I told."

    "Mommy will never spank you again, Sweetheart. Please, tell me what Mommy used."

    She hung her head and said into her chest. "The TV remote."

    "Of course," I thought. "The little rectangular clip that holds the battery cover in place."

    The doctor stood up as I pulled Lindsay against me in a loving, protective embrace. She pointed to herself with one finger and extended the thumb and little finger of her other hand, putting it close to her face as if she were talking on a telephone. Her lips said, "Police."

    "No," I said. "I'll call."

    As I gently helped Lindsay sit down again, the doctor added, "I think I should do a complete examination."

    "Do it," I told her. "Don't miss anything, Doctor. And document it, please."

    "I'll be very thorough," she assured me.

    "Sweetheart?" I said as I bent down to talk to Lindsay. "I have to make a phone call. Grandma will come in to be with you, okay?"

    Her arms grabbed at me. "Don't leave me, Daddy."

    "You won't be alone. I promise, okay? I'll be right at the door so you can see me."

    She looked at the door as the nurse returned. "Okay."

    I gave her a kiss, then went to the door. I could see my three friends sitting in the waiting area. I was about to call out when Brad saw me. I pointed at his Mother. Brad touched her arm and pointed at me. I motioned her forward and she came as quickly as she could.

    "Is Lindsay okay?" she asked quietly.

    "Yes, but I have to call the police," I whispered.

    Her hand grabbed my arm. "Oh, Ted!"

    "She was spanked badly and they need X-rays of her arm. The doctor wants to do a complete examination. Could you stay with her while I call them?"

    "Of course."

    "She thinks she did something wrong, Bernice. She's scared and she thinks she's in trouble for it and she thinks she'll be spanked again and that I'll hate her because of it. Bernice, she looked at my ex-wife's make-up case."

    From the look in Bernice's face, I knew The Bitch was in trouble if she ever ran into this woman on the street. "I'll take good care of her," she said. "But when we're done here, I want you to tell me where to find The Bitch so I can rip her arms off."

    I smiled in spite of the circumstances. She released my arm and headed into the room. I set out down the hall toward the bank of telephones. Brad and John rose from their seats to meet me.

    "I have to call the police," I said.

    "That bitch!" Brad shouted.

    John put his hand on his son's shoulder. "Nicely put, Son, but keep it down."

    I picked up a phone and punched 9-1-1 on the dial.

    * * * * *

    "There are other small, fading abrasions, but I found another fresh mark on her back," Dr. van Horne said when I returned to the room. She won't tell me what happened. Bernice quietly left the room. "We have photos of everything."

    "I've seen them before. Lindsay told me it was just her bumping into things. I thought it was just part of growing up." I turned to Lindsay. "Tell me, Sweetheart. Did Mommy make the mark on your back?"

    Lindsay hung her head as if she were ashamed. She shook it slowly back and forth. "Miss Graig threw her shoe at me because I was playing too loud when she was watching TV."

    "Did Mommy know she threw it?"

    Lindsay nodded.

    "Did she take you to the doctor?"

    Lindsay shook her head ‘no'.

    "Did she phone the police?"

    Again, ‘no'.

    "Did Mommy fire Miss Craig?"

    One final time, she shook her head. She looked up at me. "I don't want to go back, Daddy."

    I hugged her. "You won't, Sweetheart. I promise. Now, tell me. Did Mommy ever hit you like this before?"

    Lindsay nodded her head. She looked so sad and scared that it ripped into my chest like a bayonet. She started to cry. "She said you wouldn't love me anymore if I told you. She said you wouldn't love me because I was bad."

    "Oh, God, Sweetheart." I picked her up and held her, and I started crying, too.

    "I'll be a witness to everything, Mr. de Villiers," Dr. van Horne said, "if you need one."

    "I will, too," said the nurse.

    * * * * *

    Lindsay wasn't seriously hurt, thank goodness. Well, not really seriously. She had a cracked bone in her arm. As the doctor explained, it probably cracked when Lindsay fell while The Bitch was holding her wrist. The bones twisted and the outside bone cracked laterally. She recommended a small cast, just to protect it in case she fell on it or bumped it. It might break entirely if she did. I told the doctor to do what was necessary.

    The police arrived and waited until the doctor was finished. They spoke with the doctor first, then to both Lindsay and me. When they were finished, one officer said, "I think you have grounds to lay assault charges on both your ex-wife and Miss. . ." he checked his notepad, ". . . Craig, Mr. de Villiers. Would you like to do that?"

    "Both of them," I said. "No-one throws a shoe at my daughter and gets away with it."

    The officer nodded. "Do you know where we can find them?"

    "Not the sitter, but I think I can find my ex, Connie." Lindsay was still holding my hand. Her arm was now wrapped in a thin but solid cast from elbow to wrist. She still had full use of her hand. I turned to her. "Sweetheart, do you know Miss Craig's first name?"

    Lindsay shook her head ‘no'.

    "Don't worry," the officer said. "We'll find out."

    "I can tell you that in a minute if I'm lucky. Follow me," I said to the officer. Lindsay came with me as I walked to the phones. I dug through the change in my pants. "Brad? Do you have a quarter?"

    Brad jumped up and came forward, digging in his pocket and retrieving a twenty-five cent piece. He gave it to me, then stood nearby, waiting.

    I picked up the receiver, dropped the coin into the slot, and dialed all with the same hand. Lindsay wouldn't let me use the other one. She wouldn't let go of it. I waited, hoping. It was answered after only two rings.

    * Jacob McConnell. *

    "Hi, Jacob. It's Ted. Are you working tonight?"

    * Yes. She's in a restaurant right now having dinner. Pheasant with baked potato. *

    "Good. Look, I'm at the hospital. I have the police here. . ." Jacob cut me off.

    * The child!? *

    "Yes. I'm going to put an officer on the line. We need to know the first name of a sitter named ‘Craig'. Answer all the officer's questions and wait for them to get there. If Connie leaves first, call the police and tell them where they go. When you meet the police, point her out, and then you can go home. I think your work is finished."

    * Until that child is yours and out of danger, Ted, I'm on duty. *

    "Thanks, Jacob. There's a big bonus in this for you."

    * It's reward enough to see this woman get what she deserves. How's Lindsay? *

    "A few bruises, and she has a cracked bone in her arm."

    * Pardon my forwardness, Mr. de Villiers, but I hope that woman burns in Hell. *

    I smiled a real smile. Probably the first one in hours. "So do I, Jacob. Here's the officer."

    I handed him the phone. I walked to the other officer, Lindsay trailing right beside me. "Can I take my daughter home now?"

    The officer smiled politely. "Of course. You'll have to stop by the station if you wish to press charges."

    "Now?"

    The officer shook his head. "Any time this weekend is fine."

    "I'll be there first thing in the morning."

    * * * * *

    Lindsay fell asleep in my lap as Brad drove us home. I was breaking the law again, but at this point, I just didn't care. John and Bernice followed in their car.

    "Would you like us to stay with you?" Bernice asked when we arrived home.

    "No," I said. "We'll be fine."

    "I'll stay with them," Brad said. He kissed his Mom and Dad goodnight and followed me inside.

    "Would you like me to make anything for you?" he asked.

    "No," I answered. "I'm just going to get Lindsay to bed and I'll join you." I took her to her bedroom and began undressing her. She didn't wake up. She didn't even stir. When I had her dressed in her nightgown, I tucked her into the blankets and lay down beside her, just looking at her face. I was still furious at The Bitch, but I wasn't thinking about her. I was too busy feeling Lindsay's pain.

    I kissed her cheek, then lay back, watching her sleep. I stroked her cheek with the backs of my fingers and brushed her bangs out of her eyes. I kissed her again just because I wanted to.

    "No-one will ever hurt you again, Sweetheart. I promise you with all my heart." I gave her one more kiss and said, "I love you, Lindsay." And then I put my head down beside hers on the pillow to look at her some more.

    I don't remember anything else until morning.

    To Be Continued

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